These are tense hours in Colombia. A collapse in peace talks earlier this week brought the nation to the brink of renewed civil war. Although the government and the 18,000 guerrillas known as FARC are talking again, it’s a tenuous and fragile rapprochement, the latest in a long history poisoned by drug money, kidnappings, torture and intimidation. In some respects, it’s an American-made conflict. Cash from cocaine sold on the streets here arms the leftist rebels who challenge the government and the right wing paramilitary groups that help prop it up. Cash from Washington equips the Colombian army, but America is conspicuously absent from the peace table. Guns, cocaine, firefights in the jungle and one more desperate diplomatic dash for peace.
Ambassador Robert White, President of the Colombia Project at the Center for International Policy
Michael Shifter, Senior Analyst at Inter-American Dialogue
and T. Christian Miller, Los Angeles Times Colombia correspondent in Bogota.